The Drifter: Moment One

Written on by Mindy Haas

Over the next two weeks, we will be publishing a special series called The Drifter, written by our returning guest blogger, Emily Vincent. Enjoy!

“Why are you here?” Susan asked me.

“Why are we all here? To do our best.” I told her. She gave me the most adorable smile. Who knew someone her age could be so cute. I met her family when I was filling up with gas. Susan seemed to be getting impatient. The family was going to Florida to go to Disney World. I gave Susan a lucky coin I had on me, or so I told her it was lucky. I told her to be good and listen to her mom. I told her that she only gets one mom, so she better treat this one well. I talked to her and her mom for a while, and made Susan laugh by making some of my old funny faces accompanied by my silly voices. I did my classic Mikey Mouse voice before we all said goodbye. I headed North while they headed on down South. I don’t think Susan knew what I meant, but I think she was just glad to have to company. I remember when people treated me differently. I knew the same would come to her if it didn’t already. I hoped she knew what I meant ‘cause, in the end, all we could do was our best.

I never saw either of them again. It goes without saying I never saw anyone twice. I’m a drifter. I adapted that life after my own life failed. Now, I can say I’ve never been happier. The open road is where I belong. I pulled into a diner in North Carolina and sat down to wait to be served.

The waitress was very kind. It must have been that southern hospitality. “What can I get you, sir?” She asked.

She was very polite and had a joyous air about her. She wasn’t the perfect looker, but her personality matched the stars.

“I’ll start out with a coffee and water,” I said, still scanning the menu.

“I’ll be right back with that.” When she came back I made a slight comment about how great she was at her job. She told me how much she loved working here. We began to talk about relationships and how she married her high school sweetheart. I smiled at the idea. It was rare to see someone so dedicated to another person. We began to talk about the company Waffle House (where she worked). She told me it was a debt-free company. She told me of all the wonderful benefits that she gets, and how well she’s treated. “That’s something you don’t hear every day. It’s nice to run into people who love their job. It’s always good to find something you’re passionate about. There’s no point in working a dead job.”

She told me how she has a degree. She said she likes working for Waffle House more. I didn’t say much. We just talked and conversed. I told her I wanted to put in a good review. She grew overly excited and gave me the information to do so. About a day later at a Starbucks parking lot, I gave her the best review I could think of.

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